Apple will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2019
Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that Apple was seeking relief from 25 percent tariffs on crucial Mac Pro parts and accessories. Weeks before, the company signaled it would move production of the line from Texas to China.
Trump has said that exemptions are available only to companies that can demonstrate they had no other manufacturing option or show the tariffs would cause “severe economic harm.” In his Friday tweet, he again championed products made in the United States.
Apple declined to comment Friday.
Apple was reportedly concerned about computer parts including stainless steel and aluminum frames and internal cables. Filings posted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not specifically name the Mac Pro, but the product features match the soon-to-come computer. The requests were posted July 18 and then became subject to a public comment period.
Some Apple products, such as the Apple Watch and AirPods, have gotten tariff relief before. The tech industry overall has warned that the tariffs could hurt American companies, rather than the foreign nations Trump has sought to undermine.
A person familiar with Apple’s manufacturing plans told Bloomberg that the new Mac Pro — which starts at just under $6,000 and will go on sale later this year — would be made in China. That marked a pivot from the earlier model, which had been manufactured in Texas since 2013. Apple said in June that “final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process.”
The Mac Pro is only one product caught in Trump’s trade war with China. The administration put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods in 2018 and has threatened an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports. Trump pulled back on those warnings in June after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that Trump has encouraged Apple CEO Tim Cook to move operations out of China, and that it was ultimately “up to Mr. Cook.” If Apple chooses to move some of its Chinese operations to the United States, that would be a “very good thing,” Kudlow said.